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#### Hilario Fochi

Hi everybody, I am looking for a really good Electrical CAD program.

Our company is currently in a Kafkanian situation: Last year, we have bought the Electrical designer from Aceri (Spain). It proved to be a very badly designed software. It just could not run more than half an hour without crashing the computer and losing all the data. It was a $4.000,00 loss without counting with our own time loss. After some research we have found EPLAN. They have a good website, I went from Brazil to London to see it working, learned that they had a rep in Brazil, and decided to buy it. This time the loss was even worse. The Eplan Software is very bad (in my opinion). It crashes lots of times (but it does not loses its data, so we consider this a "minor" problem) In our opinion, the worse, is that it is really very confusing. I really don't believe that anyone in EPLAN has ever heard about "user friendly". We have very good engineers graduated in the best universities of the country, but they lost more than a month working without any good result. I think that the EPLAN is just too burocratic and confusing. Anyone who buys it is going to lose time (and money). I would appreciate if someone can tell me about the other softwares that are in the market. I just need a solution to this situation, otherwise, if I keep buying bad software, my reputation will be destroyed. Do you have any info about Ecad Plus, ELCAD, Promise, Via development, Elektra-Cad, Wireworks or any other software? I'll be very gratefull if someone can help me. Hilario Silveira M #### Mike Munroe R #### Ramer-1, Carl Not to be obvious, but why not use a well known package with good support? AutoCAD and Intergraph are strong competitors, both with good support. Although I use Intergraph's Microstation, you might find AutoCAD better suited to your needs. Define your requirements for the software, including the training and hardware needed, then send out a request for proposal to a half dozen reputable software vendors. It's a lot cheaper to review than replace CAD systems. What software did your recently graduated engineers use at university? That would be a good candidate since they already know how to use it and it's most likely a proven package. Carl Ramer, Engineer Space Gateway Support, Inc. Kennedy Space Center, Florida Unsponsored professional opinion D #### Dobrowolski, Jacek Hi, I'd advise you to try RSWire by Rockwell Software (member of Rockwell Automation). I use many other engineering software from them and it seems to be well designed and really user friendly. Regards, Jacek Dobrowolski J #### Jansen, Joe <snip> -> After some research we have found EPLAN. They have a good -> website, I went from Brazil to London to see it working, learned that -> they had a rep in Brazil, and decided to buy it. This time the loss -> was even worse. The Eplan Software is very bad (in my opinion). You must be in middle or upper management. If they had a rep locally, you should have had them come out and demo their software. At the price that you seem to be paying for this stuff, they should have been happy to put on a demo for you. -> In our opinion, the worse, is that it is really very -> confusing. I really -> don't believe that anyone in EPLAN has ever heard about "user -> friendly". We have very good engineers graduated in the best -> universities of the country, but they lost more than a month working -> without any good result. Wouldn't this have been caught when you went to look at it? Perhaps you should look for demo copies of software, or let the engineers who are going to be using the software daily get involved with making the decision. -> I think that the EPLAN is just too burocratic and confusing. Anyone -> who buys it is going to lose time (and money). -> -> I would appreciate if someone can tell me about the other -> softwares that are in the market. -> -> I just need a solution to this situation, otherwise, if I keep buying -> bad software, my reputation will be destroyed. It isn't about your reputation. Let the people who use the software pick it out. If you are willing to spend$4000 on an electrical CAD package anyway, it would be hard for them to blow much more.

-> development, Elektra-Cad, Wireworks or any other software?

promis*e Is not too bad, and they will send you a "cripple-ware" package, I beleive. I have a demo CD of theirs. Doesn't enable all of the features, only works for 30 days, etc. But it let's you see how it works before you spend any .

Are you using AutoCAD anywhere? There are a number of good packages that run inside of AutoCAD.

Look at RSWire. They are fairly good. Also, if you do any PLC work with Allen Bradley PLC's, the software can import tag names in the programming
software into the wire numbering scheme on the prints. Very well integrated.

-> I'll be very gratefull if someone can help me.
->
-> Hilario Silveira

But once again: If you are not the only one using, do not try to be the only one picking it out. If you just hand it to them and say "Here, I
bought this for you to use" it will already have one strike against it. Get them involved, that way, when they start using it, they will want to find a way to make it work, rather than finding another reason to bitch about it. If they help pick it out, and find ways to make it work, they are happy, your 'reputation' is saved, and everyone goes home happy.

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#### Stephen Wright

I sympathize with your predicament. I am a fan of Promis-e, also marketed as RSWires by Allen-Bradley. Another package that is admirable is WDToolbox. If you are interested, I can put you in touch with someone who has considerable experience with both of these packages.

Regards

K

#### Kirk S. Hegwood

We've used Via LT in the past and just upgraded to the Win2000 LT version. We are not heavy ACAD users and just run ACADLT 2000 and so far for the price, it comes with panel builder and bill of material, it has been fine for my use.

Kirk S. Hegwood
President
Signing for Hegwood Electric Service, Inc.

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#### Jit Roop

Is there an add-on for VISIO?

Jit Roop
Oceanside Technologies Ltd.
#140 - 8208 Swenson Way
Delta, BC
V4G 1J6
http://www.otl.bc.ca
Tel: (604) 588-5450 Fax: (604) 588-5457

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#### Daniel Boudreault

Hello Hilario,

We use AutoCad at our company...for all kinds of drawings. I use it for my Electrical Wiring and Layout drawings. You can get the light version, with I believe is more than enough for the Electrical drawing. I have never had Autocad
crash my computer to where I lost all the data, but I had it crash a few times during print attempts. which was due to bad print driver, which we changed out, and no more problems.
We have a data server which holds all of our data, and a back up server for back up.

I highly recommend Autocad R14 and R14 LT. I haven't used the newer 2000 version, but from what I heard, I don't think I will want to use it....until our customers require it...

Dan Boudreault

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#### Curt Wuollet

Hi Hilario

Maybe the software isn't bad? Maybe you are running it on the wrong operating system. The latest and wildly popular move is to port EDA tools to Linux. It seems that if a simulation that runs for days crashes in the middle, the engineers get upset. If you buy and lose money on a third package, I'd begin to suspect that it isn't the software. Of course I'll be flamed for this logic.

Regards

Curt Wuollet,
Wide Open Technologies

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#### Colin

Can recommend AutoCAD LT for simple 2D but you should get some training first.

All CAD software that I have seen requires training in order to learn how to use it properly. If you sit down and teach your self you will learn may bad habits that will cause you to wasted a lot of time in the long run. I can
usually pick self taught users by their lack of speed and bad habits. Also you need to create symbol libraries or import them first, a step often left out, that will eventually cost you much in time wasted. If you want a more intuitive package try VISIO. Good CAD software is not intuitive, it must be learnt. Remember that one of the main advantages of CAD is speed. If you could have drawn it by hand faster than it takes to CAD it, you're probably not using the software the right way.

Regards Colin

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#### Bruce Axtell

RSWire is basically ECT's Promise. I have used it but like Cimlogic's Toolbox/WD better.

Bruce

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#### Bruce Axtell

Do you mean Visio Technical or Intellicad98 from Visio?

I have been using Intellicad98, an Autocad clone and like it very much. It has a native .dwg format, and is pretty much 100% Autocad compatible. It also has Lisp, etc. I can open drawings developed in Autocad, work on them, and send them back to the Autocad person without Autocad knowing the difference. The only minor incompatibilities that I'm aware of are in the
3D area, and I don't use that for electrical drawings anyway. For less than 1/10 the cost of Autocad, it does everything Autocad does, and some things Autocad (R14) doesn't.

Here's the rub: 3rd party providers of schematic packages such as Cimlogic's Toolbox WD, VIA, and others do not support Intellicad. Apparently the Intellicad base is not large enough for them to pursue it. Secondly, since Microsoft bought Visio, Intellicad seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Going to the (formerly) Visio website, it is redirected to Microsoft. Going to the Microsoft website, there is no mention of Intellicad, only Visio Technical. I tried contacting Microsoft as to Intellicad's status, but...not surprisingly...no response.

Cimlogic has a link to Visio (now Microsoft), but no mention of Intellicad and the person I spoke with at Cimlogic says that they do not support

Intellicad came with a book of Intellicad 3rd-party providers of industry-specific libraries, etc. I haven't contacted them to see if they
make a product similar to Toolbox WD or VIA. I also would be interested if anyone else on the list has been down this road or has heard of Intellicad's status since the "ax-quistion" of Visio by Microsoft?

I have been thinking I might be forced to switch to Autocad LT and VIA.

TIA

Bruce Axtell
[email protected]

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#### Hilario Fochi

Thanks Carl, I apreciate your opinion
Best Regards, Hilario

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#### Hilario Fochi

Dear Joe Jansen,
a) I learned in London that EPLAN had a rep in Brazil. I spent 3 hours there with their salesmen making the Show. I can tell you that Eplan can do the Job. Its main problem resides in the fact that it is too much burocratic.
b) For sure my next try will be with a demo first.
c) I have done almost all of the other suggestions you made: Get people involved, not making the decision alone etc. We were all fooled by the sellers expertise.
d) Will ask for promis*e/RSWire demo thanks.

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#### Hilario Fochi

Dear Stephen Wright

Would you please give me more info on WDToolbox and put me in touch with those people you have mentioned?

My mails are: [email protected] or [email protected]

Best Regards Hilario

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#### Hilario Fochi

Hello Curt
We attended to a Training course in Eplan Brazil during the last three days.I can tell you, the software EPLAN 5.20 Service Pack 3 IS BAD. It crashed all the time in all computers, including some 5 AMD K-6 with win98, a Toshiba Sattelite notebook, and a Windows NT server. (The NT was down for 2 times!!)The Toshiba, (A brand new 5 days old with only Eplan installed on it, had a very bad crash with explorer trying to find two drives "C"!!!! It would not even power down. The Only solution: Reset it!Apart from that, it does the job, but it is so bureaucraic tha we alosing time instead of winning time with its automation!I would appreciate very much if you can give some more info about porting EDA tools to Linux.You can use my personal email as follows: [email protected]

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Hilario

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#### Dobrowolski, Jacek

One of my friends is designer of building power installations. He told me he worked with Visio. So I think there is one. If you need further info let me know and I'll ask him about details.

Jacek Dobrowolski